OPPO “slide-phone” is a triple-hinge foldable design concept
Foldables are widely predicted to be the future of smartphones, tasked with sprucing up the glass slabs into designs that have more individuality and character. We’ve seen a few iterations of final foldable hardware, but everyone does agree that there is still some more work to be done on this end. OPPO has some ideas on how foldables could work, and it is collaborating with Japanese design studio nendo to showcase a triple-hinge foldable design concept.
Today, we’re showcasing two new design concepts produced in collaboration with leading Japanese design studio, nendo.
— OPPO (@oppo) December 14, 2020
Tentatively called the “slide-phone”, this is primarily a design concept from OPPO, meaning that it exists only on paper so far with no working prototype. It’s a vision of a future that can materialize, and it’s interesting to look at the direction that OEMs think can be feasible for consumer technology.
The Slide-phone has three hinges, allowing it to get a triple fold. But unlike the concepts from Xiaomi and TCL, this design concept is meant to work more along the paths of a Galaxy Z Flip and not a Galaxy Z Fold.
Sliding up one fold exposes 40mm of the screen with simple functions that don’t need a full screen, such as call history, notifications, and music player interfaces.
A second reveals 80mm of the screen, which OPPO believes would be ideal for taking selfies. The cameras on this design concept rest only on the back, so a hinge mechanism here would work for front camera use-cases.
OPPO says that the controls on the side of the phone are shaped like ellipses cut in half, functioning as two to four buttons, becoming small, semicircular buttons or combining into one large button as the phone slides up and down. The stylus is also a part of the phone. The hinges are also covered in suede leather in this concept. There’s also a wireless charger stand that is angled to match the hinged state of the phone.
There are no release dates, timelines, or any commitments on this design concept — there isn’t even a working prototype, as it explicitly is a design concept. But OPPO is no stranger to bringing some of these to life, as it did with the OPPO X 2021 rollable concept smartphone. So if there is enough interest, it might just happen.